Police unsure attacks on gays hate crimes

Sept. 2, 2011 at 9:02 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Salt Lake City police said Friday they're investigating two downtown attacks on gay men but don't believe they're related.

Detective Cary Wichmann said both attacks are being treated as aggravated assaults but not as hate crimes, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Dane Hall, 20, said four men attacked him as he left Club Sound's gay-themed night Aug. 26. He said he was punched in the back of the head and knocked to the ground before one of his attackers put his right cheek on the curb and stomped his head.

His jaw was fractured in three places, a chip from his jawbone jammed into his brain, his cheekbone was shattered and he lost six teeth.

"I could have died," he said.

Hall has no medical insurance and his medical bill is more than $40,000, the Tribune said.

Not far from the scene of the attack, another man said men broke into his apartment and beat up his boyfriend. The Tribune didn't say when that attack happened.

Based on initial reports, Wichmann said, police "have no indication at this point at all that they're linked."

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